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Grateful Dead Live at Folsom Field, U of Colorado on 1972-09-03

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Grateful Dead Live at Folsom Field, U of Colorado on 1972-09-03

Topics Live concert

Promised Land, Sugaree, Me & My Uncle, Tennessee Jed, Black Throated Wind, Bird Song, Beat It On Down The Line, Mississippi Half Step, Playin' In The Band, Casey Jones Bertha, El Paso, Brown Eyed Women, Mexicali Blues, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Truckin', Loser, He's Gone-> The Other One-> Wharf Rat, Johnny B. Goode Cold Rain & Snow, Sugar Magnolia, Deal, Jack Straw, Ramble On Rose, Rockin' Pneumonia, Not Fade Away

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Folsom Field, U of Colorado
Location Boulder, CO

Source Soundboard and Audience composite


#18779 improved - entire show speed corrected, static removed; includes encore. via Carsten Baumann and Hanno Bunjes


Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2015
Subject: Best Jack Staw ever
Dig it, dudes.

[originally posted 2008; spelling corrected Sept 2015]
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2015
Subject: Local mythos corroborated

Two things stand out about this show: that's it's a top show, even from one of the top-five-best-years; and that it was discussed locally for over a decade. Red Rocks became a legendary venue for the Dead, and they played it 20 times (two more were moved for weather). Inevitably you'd be there bitd talking with some dudes about previous Red Rocks shows, and which were great tapes, when some older dude would lament that you hadn't been at Boulder '72. "THAT was the show brah!" They played two good shows at CU football stadium in '80 but it was '72 that made these cats nod and zone wistfully.

Given the crap quality of the tapes generally available it was always hard to discern the music was really there for this one but the stories certainly were (see below about the crew slinging baggie kits into the crowd - replete with papers and matches - and other legends that, it turns out, were all true). Believe it or not, after the band went on, they left the stage for the last time 6 hours later.

In '67 they had played two nights at a small club in Denver and a free show the next day at City Park. And the Miller Ballroom at CU in '69 was followed by a small show in Co Springs out by the Academy. But the first they really gained notice in the market was after two shows in '70 at Mammoth Garden (currently the Fillmore). This created a vacuum of interest for their return to the area in '72 for a show that became a cultural flashpoint for the region the same way The Clash at Red Rocks in '82 would for the following generation. I once heard it compared to Beatles-on-Sullivan. By all accounts the crowd was unusually mindmelded and animated and the band reacted. There seems to have been an unusual amount of transcendent experiences in unison. Colorado became one of the band's most faithful markets because of this show and they would return to Colorado 41 times.

You know '72 was a hot year but, for comparison purposes, this is the show after Veneta (and the same month as Baltimore/DP23 and, possibly the best show ever, the Stanley Theater). The quality harkens to the golden age of blanks and postage (i.e. muddy as shit in places) and requires a certain candidate, but the show is money. (Wine women & song = sex drugs & r'n'r = blanks and postage = snail mail and magnetic tape to you lawn-disrespecting kiddies). If it were available in complete SBD it would be preferred to Veneta, but as it is it appeals to applicants. That said, three from the middle set are in perfect qual on Dick's 36.

1st Set. The show starts strong and even with poor sound you can hear it only gets better. By the time you get to BioDtL-6 (at least I think it's six - what say you?) these are versions for the ages. Half-step Mississippi is played for the 8th time and is the best one so far (the sound is much improved by this point). Playin' is freaking perfect - even with Donnascreechâ„¢. Casey Jones is the only average thing in the set.

2nd Set. The sound weirdness is over but, oops - the set starts shaky with Bertha missing vox and the band falling apart. Bobby has monitor issues for his El Paso and goes off key. Shit gets fixed and they start warming up again, sending China>Rider into outrageousness. Truckin' has excellent fills. That's the secret to the song - plus the end jam, and Bobby remembering the lyrics. It's a stand-alone but when they start Loser a broken string makes it careen. The next three songs are on DP #36, probably to make a sandwich out of the incredible Other One, with it's intense-jazz jam. '72 wasn't the best year for Wharf Rat so this one's easily above-average. There's a Johnny B Goode encore and then...

Third Set. Bobby actually announces their intention to play a set. With a post-rain Cold Rain & Snow, it's average stuff until they hit fire again! Deal and Jack Straw both smoke and, I dunno, but they could really hit the harmonies some shows. It's weird that they played Rockin' Pneumonia a few times in '72. I was thinking they got it from Johnny River's chart hit but that wasn't until a few months later, so they must have known the '57 version. This is the 3rd of 4 (two were in London and Milwaukee's is a total boogie-down). The rest is A+ material. Not Fade has unique tones and approaches - particularly from Jer. The man was inspired. Goin' Down the Road may be my favorite version ever. My jaw drops and I'm wearing a BandAid around the 5-minute mark (too bad quality drops down again). It's a dead-drop back into NFA. The machine is vibrating its cosmic uplink. You can tell that 1-more Saturday Night kills but there are no clear copies in circ.

1st Set:  A+
2nd Set: B-
3rd Set: A
Overall = 5 Stars

Me & My Uncle - always good in '72
Tennessee Jed - airy heights
Bird Song - great performance, bad copies
BioDtl-6 - maybe 72's best
Half-step Mississippi - 72's best
I Know You Rider - outrageous finish to a China Cat
Truckin' - this is how it's supposed to be played
The Other One - The whole sandwich is good but this is a remarkable jam
Johnny B Goode - They smoke this one
Deal - Jer on a roll
Jack Straw - vox nailed
NFA>GDtRFB>NFA - Unique tones, no better Goin' Down the Road
One More Saturday - played great, recorded bad

SOURCES: This is a composite of the best sources available for the individual songs, compiling AUDs and SBDs for the first time and at the correct speed. As such, the awesome effort has created one-stop listening. Maybe some day better stuff will emerge. The show is deserving.
Reviewer: weeb5869 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 24, 2012
Subject: I will always remember this day
I have become nostalgic after reading a terrific article in the November 26, 2012, issue in "The New Yorker" magazine written by Nick Paumgarten.

September 3, 1972, was my one and only Dead concert. (Calling it a concert just doesn't seem to do it justice). My 17 year old brother was a Dead fan. I was not. I was 21 years old and thought I had the world by the tail. I was in Boulder for a few days visiting a friend and he treated me to the most exhilarating day of my life.

As I remember, the band started around noon and we left around 6 p.m. I don't even remember the rain. I still get a warm glow thinking about that magic day. It wasn't a concert or a show - to me it was a spiritual experience.

The Dead seemed to send waves of positive vibes that extended to every person in that stadium. When it was over it was very difficult to leave. The people in my section of the stadium had become my friends in a mere six hours.

Listening to the music of that day on the archive is a bit of a disappointment. The sound was much better in person.

I'm not sure why I had a compulsion to write this tonight. It has been over 40 years but I remember it like it was yesterday. I don't know how many people were there, but it was as if we were ONE.

Sadly, that has been a rare feeling in my life.

Reviewer: NYLifer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 3, 2009
Subject: Lots of rewards here
Great banter, especially at the end of each set.
LOVE the feedback drenced start of The Other One! Can't think of another one like it.
Peace, Bob
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 17, 2009
Subject: Shazbot!
This is a long show!! But with great versions of Playin', China>Rider, TOO, and my pick o' the show, NFA>GDTRFB>NFA, it's all good.

Fun Fact: Folsom field was used in the closing credits for the horrible show Mork and Mindy, thus explaining the title of this review
Reviewer: Dylan M - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 15, 2009
Subject: Over 4 hours?
Rarity in and of itself, aside from the quality performance. From my media listening program, the SBD portion of the show is 3 hours, 14 minutes. the first 8 AUD tracks are 48 minutes. You do the math folks. Even in 72', a year of 3 1/2 hour shows and quality jamming, this show must have been something else. I guess if the dead came to Boulder in their prime, it would go something like that. This could be the longest show of 72' (dont quote me on that). But length is not to overshadow quality, which is just as apparent and important in this recording. Also the first rockin' pnemonia, a nice little classic standard. Get it if you can folks!
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 25, 2008
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live" at Folsom Field, University of Colorado, Boulder CO U.S.A.
############_"Smokin'_GRATEFULD DEAD Show"

5 Star performance (after the first 8 tracks)
5 Star recording --(after the first 8 tracks)
5 Star mix - - - - (after the first 8 tracks)

The first 8 tracks are audience quality recordings and so is the very last track. You don't have to download them, I didn't.

I recommend using your EQ to dial in the sound on practically all the GRATEFUL DEAD shows on the IA, this one included.

PLAYING IN THE BAND & CASEY JONES are soundboard quality.

BERTHA isn't mixed properly until 2:30 into the song, then it becomes a soundboard.

After "Bertha" all the songs are SOUNDBOARD, STEREO HI-FI TRACKS.

Garcia's chops on China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider are not to be missed, he's burning up the fret board, check it out. This show is hot.

The GRATEFUL DEAD are playing their A$$ES off this night, do not pass this show up.

Well Rehearsed show with no major catastrophies, other than the wrongs mics were turned on for the first 8 songs...and the sound guys are on drugs....hippies...hmmm

"The Other One" is 30:53 long and goes into a 10:44 long "Wharf Rat". Amazing performance.

Garcia is wailing away on Johnnie B Goode. The Band is rockin'. This show is a "MUST HAVE".

Rock-Solid performances of some of our favorite songs from 1972. Jerry's playing is flawless this night and the rest of the band keeps up with him step for step, WOW! Bobby's playing is awesome too, so's Phil's Billy's and Keiths.

Jerry's guitar sound is fantastic, must have been the tubes...and his playing is beyond human this night. He's really smooth, relaxed, and in total control.

Starting with Cold Rain and Snow you will need to re-adjust your EQ, and again at Not Fade Away, oh's "live show".

Not Fade Away/GDTRFB is really good too. Man these guys played their A$$ES off this night..great show. Garcia is playing some amazing licks...this is Garcia at his peak, he whips out his wah-wah on NFA too and his ax starts talking.

If you were at this show you witnessed TRUE MAGIC. Everyone that listens to this show will wish they were at this GRATEFUL DEAD SHOW.

This show slipped by lots of people, it didn't slip by me, don't let it slip by you.

Forget the last song too, One More Saturday Night is a really bad Audience Recording. If you like bad audience recordings, this one is for you.

Get it while you can, get it while it's free, get it now or you will be sorry.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the Love, Merry Christmas, folks.

PS: For the PC (Windows XP), the IA recommends RealPlayer for streaming and downloading.

Here's an added treat I thought you might like. You can watch BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE performed Live 1972-04-17 at the URL Below:
Reviewer: RailHead66 - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 16, 2006
Subject: Disc?
Anyone know under what name this show was released commerically ?
Reviewer: chip straw from wichita - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 27, 2006
Subject: 9 3 72, yeh!
My first show. Had just travelled from Wichita on the beginning of a two-month trek thru the Southwest that brought us back to reside in the Mile High.

Came by the cassette of the show many years ago. I was sure glad the actual show sounded better than the tape. Came across a disc copy 4 years ago but am still missing the first set.

And tho everyone talks about Cold Rain and Snow opening that last set in the rain, my window pane memory has the sun coming out during the Sugar Mag refrain when the crowd seemed to levitate 6-7" over the field.

I could be wrong but I'm stickin' with that version.

Anyway, I don't remember Feat opening that day. I'm pretty sure it was a later show when they opened for Leon Russell.

5 bolts for the show, 2 for the recording.

BTW howz the DP35 clip from that show?
Reviewer: Mycroft Trout - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 12, 2005
Subject: Nice and Weird
My first time at a Dead show, and even now, over 30 years later it's the standard that I measure every other show by any other artist by. Some come close - including other shows by the boys - but none have ever beat it.
Other reviews of this show are right, both about the postive energy of the show, and the negative quality of the sound. Just for pure nostalgia, I'll listen to the Aud recording of the 1st set. But, if you aren't emotionally tied to that day, or a completist, skip forward to Bertha when the sound improves. (Still not *that* good, but Bertha's worth getting just for Bobby's Tina Turner impression at the end of it - "We don't ever do anything nice and straight...." Long about Brown Eyed Women, it starts to get into the SBD portion of the show and is a heckuva lot more listenable until the last encore goes to Aud again.
Two individual songs stand out for me. First, one of the best Rider's I've ever listened to. Every time I listen to it, I just gotta believe that Jerry's not just singing - he really does wish he was a headlight on a northbound train. Second, Cold Rain and Snow. When the band started the set with this tune, the cool Colorado rain was pouring down. I was hunkered down on the field with a group of kindly souls who volunteered to share their tarp with me. Halfway through the song, the sun broke though. I looked in the air and saw a rainbow made of a thousand frisbees of every color flying around the stadium. Pure magic.
Rating time: 2 stars for the lousy sound of the 1st set. Four stars after that. Five stars for the energy and the good vibes. Speaking of vibes, I'll add another star for all the frisbees. It ought to average out at 4 stars.
Reviewer: Gr8fulTed - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 28, 2005
Subject: 3 set wonder at Folsom
The $3 ticket went a long way in Boulder this wonderful day. I have color slides to remember it by, along with memories of crazy STP gypsies floating around. The rain was a brief distraction, starting during the 2nd set China. Free baggies of herb, papers and matches were tossed out from the stage into the crowd! Must be an Owlsey show: Need a better recording!
Reviewer: Jazzmin - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2005
Subject: I was there in spirit...
My parents were both at this show before they even met :) When I found out they even went to a dead show I was so stoked! I had to find it.
I don't doubt that the sound quality is icky... I had this on cassette and it was horrible. I'm downloading this more for nostalgia than anything.
So 5 stars for the show, and 1 for the quality... a nice even 3 ;)
Reviewer: Jazzmin - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2005
Subject: I was there in spirit...
My parents were both at this show before they even met :) When I found out they even went to a dead show I was so stoked! I had to find it.
I don't doubt that the sound quality is icky... I had this on cassette and it was horrible. I'm downloading this more for nostalgia than anything.
So 5 stars for the show, and 1 for the quality... a nice even 3 ;)
Reviewer: lapSTEEL_your_face - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 4, 2005
Subject: Wall of sound
Too bad the recording didn't capture the superb sound quality of this show. The ol' Wall Of Sound was kickin' it out and so was the band. Bobby was kind enough to introduce us to their newest members, Keith & Donna.
There was an energy cloud (even Bobby pointed at it) that floated around the stadium and settled on the band, with a noticable shudder from Jerry! Bobby made a comment about us probably wanting to hear something nice and straight, "but we never play straight".
Then there was the shower. Rained so hard they had guys out with poles pushing up on the stage canopy to keep it from caving in under the water weight. Since within 3 steps you were soaked there wasn't much to do but play in the rain with some other friendly deadheads. Whe the band came back from break they played Cold Rain & Snow and blew the rain away, sunny skies again.
By the way, Little Feat opened this show and were wonderful, first time I heard them.
So I say 3 stars for the recording, 10 for the jams. This was one of my all time favorite shows and I waited a long time to get it. Enjoy. Peace.
Reviewer: Augy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2004
Subject: Hey Michelle, great review !
This is a re view of a review I didn't go nor have I even yet heard this, but Michelle you write the review like I do. Some ones I've already written and other I can't yet beccuase they don't have the show. This reminds me of show I'd like to review foe example Santa Fe '83 wre they must have taken the longest break eve, (seems like a bad thing but I'll explain when the get those (or that one of the two); and also Red Rocks in both '79 and '82 ! etc.
I mean not just because of rain, but you give us a historical context etc. even though the webmaster says to stick to the sound quality, which is obviously important but if one was there and it was distinctly unique, even if only on a personal level, because it may help ilustrate something about the band/scene in a larger sence that maybe isn't readily obvious until pointed out. Like perhaps somehow most of us can relate to from our own experiences in other situations at shows then I feel it is totally valid !
Pretty darn cool of those folks passing out the herb !
Reviewer: McJanks - favorite - June 11, 2004
Subject: heads up on the sound quality
Not to tear down how good a show this might have been...but this one sounds like duke.

And this is coming from a colorado collector...not worth it, at least based on sound.
Reviewer: mlefree - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2004
Subject: What a concert!
I'm so happy that I found this download! It may not be the cleanest recording ever, but it was my best Dead concert--no, any concert--ever! It was a typical Boulder late summer afternoon, which if you know the area, brought with it the typical front-range late afternoon thundershowers. The recordings reveal some of the on-stage problems these thundershowers caused, what with remarks about using the frisbees for rain hats and taking time to dry out their piano. Tho' my memory has admittedly been dimmed by the time that's elapsed and the pharmaceutical aids of the day, I recall that the band played right into the storm, but finally had to stop when their equipment started arcing sparks over the wet stage, which must have scared the band members as it certainly did me. I think this arcing accounts for the occasional tape dropout. There's a point when the band sounds like they were under water. And, they pretty much were! Bob and Gerry both made a point of wanting people to weather the storm with them and, wisely, we all did. It was a good thing, too, as the band returned with a vengeance, as determined to give a great show that beautiful Rocky Mountain early fall day as the fans were to see one. Unkown benefactors made sure to create the proper ambience when, during stage set up right after the storm, someone had several young men walk through the crowd with cardboard boxes chock full of "lids" of herb--complete with packs of papers and matches--tossing them randomly into the crowd! Nice stuff, too... I'm told. ;) Anyway, the band did return for two more incredible sets that rocked the afternoon away with one of the longest and most pleasurable forays into the "Live Dead" experience that I ever enjoyed. The quality of the recordings varies a bit from one song to the next (none of it so poor as to ruin the listening experience) but the set list is an incredible cornucopia of Dead greats. And the band, having only recently returned from their legendary Europe '72 tour was RED HOT! In my mind these factors overshadow any technical shortcomings of the recordings, especially for ~this~ nostaligic Dead Head. It certainly is a must in my collection! Even if you weren't there with me it is definitely a keeper.
Michelle L.
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on 4/22/2004
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